Government & Politics
4:55 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Reviewing Local Mandates

One of the last things a locality wants to hear about is yet another unfunded mandate. 

It may cause the locality to scramble for resources, cut essential personnel, and do more with less. 

Members of the Governor's Task Force for Local Mandate Review say one of the best ways to provide some moral and financial relief to localities is to put a moratorium on mandates. 
   
 Task Force Chair Pat Herrity says other states have proposed moratoria on unfunded mandates, and it seems to have had a positive impact.  Legislation during the recent General Assembly session made some progress but didn't get very far.  It would have directed the Governor to temporarily suspend some unfunded state mandates on localities pending a review of them.  Herrity says it's not fair when lawmakers don't plan far enough ahead by considering where money has to come from before they propose laws.

He says his task force eliminated a lot of mandates last year, but as long as there's no moratorium, their work will never be complete. He says part of the solution is getting localities and the state talking with one another.  One report suggests that during the previous year, those discussions reduced the requirements on localities by 30%.

Tommie McNeil reports from Richmond.